“You’re an only child?”
Many people say this with a semi-stunned expression, their eyes widening and head tilting, as though they’ve just come eye-to-eye with a rare animal. There I sit, a Homo Sapien Only Childus — shrouded in mystery and much assumption — thrust into the wild world of speculation.
When people tell me stories about how their brother taunted them at family gatherings throughout childhood, or how their older sister was a stable force that helped them through awkward teen years, I’m afraid I have nothing to add.
I simply can’t relate.
Interestingly, I often face a barrage of statements in which people blurt out the many ways they um, truly know me.
“So you’re one of those spoiled types, huh?”
“Ah, I bet you STILL get everything you want!”
To which I inwardly think, “Enough already!”
I say, “Inwardly,” because, well, I’m also an introvert.
That’s right — as if the only child stereotypes aren’t enough, let’s toss introversion into the mix.
And oh yeah, my late father was in the military.
That means I grew up moving from state to state, or sometimes overseas, every few years, until he retired in the early 90s. In fact, I spent my first two years of high school in Germany and the last two in New Jersey; a child growing up in this environment is often referred to as a “Military Brat.” Because, you know, we’re spoiled rotten — what with all the bratwurst eating and autobahn driving one minute and the pork roll, egg and cheese delights along the Jersey shore the next. (*pinky finger raised as I stir the sugar into my convenience store coffee*)
Yes, I own my own golf course. No, you’re not invited. via GIPHY
Please, enough already with holding tight to the stereotypical mindset that makes you think I’m a catered-to, quiet type who can’t stand social interaction. Yeah, I know, I’d rather sit around and file my nails while being fanned with giant palm leaves and hand fed grapes, classical tunes wafting in the background.
I believe in kindness, a decent night’s sleep, humor, respect, imagination, and keeping the opening of mugs facing upwards in the kitchen cabinet. Big issues. Small ones. It’s all good.
Silly you, I prefer being fed dried apricots.
If I’m to believe birth order psychology, and cut-and-dry personality theories, that suggest one is either a reserved, corner-sitting introvert or a wild, loud extrovert, then by all means, I’m a stuck up, antisocial, gift-seeking mess. I’m supposedly every bit a get-what-I-want, quiet type (who, um, also happens to be a “spotlight-loving” Leo — so what’s THAT all about?) who barely talks above a whisper and considers “a night on the town” stepping foot on the patio.